Mitzura Salgian is an American artist of Romanian-Armenian origin. Born to professional artist parents, Mitzura was encouraged to draw and paint at an early age. “I was seven years old when I produced my first portrait, a simple pencil drawing of my father, on a piece of ruled paper – one of my best ever!”. As a teenager Mitzura felt a revealing connection to the marvelous, enigmatic and often disturbing explorations of Surrealism, which she continuously cherished and enriched with her own vision.
Presenting a unique genre of art she named Poetic Surrealism, Mitzura integrates automatic, often archetypal and mysteriously romantic imagery with a traditional approach to the Old Master technique.
Educated in her native city of Bucharest, Romania, Mitzura received a Master of Art from the Institute of Fine Arts. Soon after graduation she moved to the US and established her permanent residence in New York.
“The thriving, local artistic scene was fascinating, free, but overwhelming. I haven’t welcomed the pressure of competition, opting for a quiet, private professional mode of activity. In my studio I can fully experience the creative state and the resulting materialized visual object – which I happily share with the public”.
Mitzura’s paintings have been widely exhibited in group shows in places like the National Arts Club, Salmagundi Club, the Museum of American Illustration, New York University Washington Square East Gallery, Nina’s Choice Gallery in Bergdorf Goodman, all in New York; the New Britain Museum of American Art, in Connecticut ; the Butler Institute of American Art and the Canton Museum of Art in Ohio; Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont; Trenton City Museum, New Jersey; Attleboro Arts Museum, Massachusetts; the Museum of Texas Tech University, Texas; Huntsville Museum of Art, Alabama; Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, Virginia; World Bank Auditorium, Washington, DC; Maison André Breton, Saint Cirq Lapopie, France.
„I’ve been recording my dreams since my mid teens. Giving little importance to long narratives, my attention goes to words, phrases and objects that appear in my dreams and which I try to depict with utmost accuracy. The oneiric image is enigmatic, unexpected and powerful; it has a unique way of revealing itself to my loving welcoming in the dynamic of the dream; it is pure, unaltered by rational intervention and subject to its own laws and patterns”.
Mitzura’s work is part of the permanent collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Maison André Breton in France. I was sixteen years old when I did my first collaboration, a “semi-cadavre exquis”, with my early friend Gheorghe Rasovszky; an untitled work of poetry, collage and painting, it remains my dearest of its kind.
Recognized in shows and competitions, Mitzura received awards for her paintings. Among them, the Gold Medal of Honor from Audubon Society, the Silver Medal of Honor and the John Young-Hunter Memorial Award from the Allied Artists of America, Best-in-show Award -Oil Painting from the New Britain Museum of American Art, Best-in-show Award -Oil Painting and Utrecht Award of Excellence from Ellarslie Open/ Trenton City Museum, Honorary Mention from Midyear Show/ Butler Institute of American Art, the Dorothy Barberis and Tamzin L. Holzer Memorial Awards from Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Arts Club.
Mitzura was represented by Portals Gallery in Chicago, until its closing in 2011. She had personal shows at Galeria Arte Varia in Coimbra and at Escada Quatro Gallery in Cascais, both in Portugal.
The first painting in this group dates from 1982 and shows a fusion of a simplified male body in profile and an oversized plant. Never shown publicly due to its erotic nature and strong personal significance, this original painting inspired the TURF group from the late eighties to today. It features slight variations of the main figure in different luxuriant settings and usually accompanied by a small female counterpart. The TURF is a poetic, contemplative place.
In her earlier years Mitzura created illustrations for editorials like the New York Times, Games magazine, Health magazine, for Gulf+Western and for publishing houses like the Random House, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Dell, Ballantine, Thorndike Press, for best-seller authors like Agatha Christie, John Updike, Eric Lustbader, Jeffrey Archer, Anne Perry, Liza Cody, Bryce Courtenay and others. Her illustration work won Mitzura an Award of Excellence from the Society of Newspaper Design and a Certificate of Merit from the Society of Illustrators and Museum of American Illustration.
The current President of the Allied Artists of America, since 2017, Mitzura has been a longtime Member of this organization, an Honorary Member of the Salmagundi Club, an Elected Member of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Arts Club and the Audubon Artists. She lives and works in Queens, New York.